The Councils on Aging in Marlborough, Hudson and Northborough have received a grant (from whom) to implement a project called building a Dementia Friendly Community. The purpose is to educate the public on best practices for interacting with people, at various stages of dementia, who are living in the community. The program is called Come 2B Dementia Friendly.
Health Technology students and Practical Nursing students at the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School are working together on this project to become the First Dementia Friendly School. This will be an impactful way of spreading the Dementia Friendly initiative for years to come by educating the future tradespeople of the community.
Many Assabet Valley departments already serve older adults in their shops and many students will graduate as tradespeople who will be entering homes in this community. Practical Nurse students and Health Technology students have participated in a training program from the Alzheimer’s Association in addition to their clinical experience. They are using their expertise and understanding to help educate other students in the school about the problems of living with dementia and provide them with some strategies they can use to help persons with dementia they may encounter in their work.
The Health Technology and Practical Nurse- Dementia Friendly teams have been going into the school’s technical program shops to do interactive training sessions. There has been a lot of enthusiasm for the project and many students have shared stories of family members who are living with dementia. Discussions and questions have been excellent and post program surveys have been extremely positive.
At the end of the sessions the shops are given written information about dementia and a decal to display identifying their shop as Dementia Friendly. Once the training is complete the school will be labeled Dementia Friendly and the team will move on to the next phase.
Assabet Valley is proud to be working on a community wide project and the education the students provide for each other is one more way that we show our commitment to be the best we can be.
For more information on the project visit the website: http://www.come2bdementiafriendlymarlborough.org/
For information on the Practical Nurse Program visit www.assabetvalleylpn.org
For information on Assabet Valley Regional Technical visit www.assabettech.com
This article was submitted by Ellen Santos MSN, RN, CNE, Director of Practical Nursing, Assabet Valley RVSD